Monday, March 26, 2007

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Poor Clyde, his buddy is locked up in a kennel. Very little playing going on.

Poor Puck, he's been diagnosed with a bad back (a slipped disc, more precisely), prescribed (via tele-vet'icine) what must seem like an eternity of Kennel Rest (which is actually just until the vet comes to town in a week), and suffered through what must have been excruciatingly amateur (read: painful) attempts (by me) to diagnose him without a vet (or, for that matter, any idea of what I was doing).

Poor Dr. Haggy. I've never met him in person. But he was filling in for our local vet (Dr. Bob, who comes to town for one week a month), and ended up getting my frantic messages. I didn't start off frantic. At least, I started off with control over that franticness. Kind of. But just imagine your little one, clearly in pain, with no way to explain where it hurts. He was shaking. Tremors. Oh, it was awful. And he'd whimper when I moved him, his eyes locked onto mine as if italicize the message. Broke my heart. And then imagine being unable to take him to a vet, because there isn't one. I couldn't even get a vet on the phone. I started sobbing. And that's when I decided to call Alaska Airlines, but that just led me to a very emotional debate about whether to spend the $1000 on the next flight out of town.

Poor local dog mushers - I started calling them when I couldn't find a vet. I begged them to come look at Puck. I'm sure it was an objectively reasonable thing to do. Get a second opinion, and all. Nonetheless, I suspect I'll be blushing every time I run into one of them, every time I go to the grocery store, post-office, local concerts, etc. [Sigh.] But, again, good people for taking my calls in the first place and helping to put me in contact with people that could put me in contact with a vet. Very good people.

Oh, just thinking about it puts me back in the horror of the moment: all that embarrassment from knowing that I could very easily be overreacting, intertwined with all that fear that something preventable could happen to him if I failed to react enough. In any event, that's the state I was in when Dr. Haggy called me back. Fortunately, I was much control of my emotions by the time we hung up. I owe that change to Dr. Haggy. It takes a great vet - and an incredible person - to find a hysterical dog owner in such a state (one that he has never met in person), elicit from her enough coherent responses and observations to form a diagnosis, and provide her with sufficient peace of mind that her mind stops flailing around in worst-case-scenarios.

I'm glad to say that the crisis has passed. I still limit all his activities, and I still watch him hawk-eyed for any sign of paralysis or weakness, but Dr. Haggy's prescription of Kennel Rest appears to be working, Puck is recovering quickly and the experience seems to be translating from fear to good story. I'm not sure if I have recovered enough to tell it, but I'm trying.

As for Clyde, he's still protesting what he perceives to be the unwarranted caging of the playmate he adores being annoyed by.
If only I could protest so thoroughly those things that I'm finding unjust and unconscionable!

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